How soon is “coming soon,” anyway?
Updates coming soon, promise.
Maybe a website is like a cute little dinosaur. Love always, baby.
Super studio space fun time.
Bushwick Open Studios forthcoming.
Shits been really real lately, man.
Dig those claws in.
Grasping at straws and gasping for air.
Low-battery indicating fire alarms chirp at me
The way they scream
Through different windows down the block
While wandering at 2 in the morning
Howl– at the moon
As I creep in the night
Realizing others are creeping too
Albeit in much closer quarters
Wrapped up in warmth
Like soft silks or cotton threads
What bittersweet joy dreams often bring,
Some more than others.
Those with your presence,
Roll up gates galore.
Subway surfing serenity.
Back to never sleeping.
Like I’ve returned home or something even.
Nested in soft vibrant foliage and cold hard concrete.
And but so then where should I go?
I’m with all of you, always.
We don’t just cross paths,
If a picture is worth 1000 words then a picture of a picture is worth 100.
Milled flax seed
Mash it up.
Try something with me, friends.
Sit comfortably with a bowl of blueberries.
Close your eyes.
Place one berry into your mouth.
Try to focus on the experience,
From start to finish,
As you slowly go through the consumption process.
One berry at a time,
For however long you’d like.
Open your eyes.
Look down at your bowl and remaining berries.
And we must come to find meaning within ourselves upon realizing that all is temporary.
The sun is amazing.
We are all plants being watered by the events of life.
Quite a sight to see,
A feast for the eyes when the fog washes over,
Everything feels somehow just a bit more soft.
Got lost before bed with memories of tubing down the Brandywine.
Beautiful reflections and stinging nettles.
As Phoenix germination within fire,
Accept birth by throw of flame.
I am a different person than I was yesterday.
I am a different person than I was a month ago.
I am a different person than I was last year.
Not only I.
You too, brothers and sisters.
The only place to be is here. Now.
So let yourself play.
Let yourself give.
Let yourself heal.
Accept the gifts from the berry bush.
I may have spent a great deal of my life hurting other people.
Pushing them away.
Pushing against everything that came close.
But today, tomorrow, and the very moment typing this,
They are just imprints of the past.
They are not me now.
I’m still learning,
And so are you who read this.
For at the end of the day,
We ultimately know nothing.
One thing is for sure.
There is still one thing that remains.
One light shining as a beacon:
Love Always, ya’ll.
I’m playing tennis against myself.
What a trip. Doing time in the desert. Phoenix was my life for a little over 6 months. This past year felt like a dark, gloomy blur. Slowly crawling and propping myself up now. Ready to get back on my feet?
Chapter 13: Hiatus
I went to Church today and couldn’t keep from crying.
Built up inside for hours prior
Saltwater set soon to pour south
Bricks laid a ton and plenty
A wall now perched atop my sternum
Clutched ribs to begin the gasping
Pulling air save for short supply
Starry spectacles drive on forward
Barrel down highway darkness barely
Fogged by flooding ocean twinkles
Pools collected on corrective lenses
Oh weathered blade of stainless
Buried deep inside boney chest
I grip your little wooden handle daily
And give it just a quarter turn
February & March didn’t even exist.
- Art Unleashed @ The University of The Arts
- “Untitled neon: Nikki”
- April 9-14 – Philadelphia, PA
Participating in this exhibition has been, and will continue to be, incredibly difficult for me. I can hardly look at the piece without being emotionally overwhelmed. There is too much there that shifts and skews. Feelings. Memories. Values. Meaning. How did I get here? It will be a somber night, if I attend the opening at all. It’s not easy to be happy on the outside when you are empty on the inside. Updating this was hard enough as it is.
A rolling stone gathers no moss.
I would spend a thousand lonely nights for one more minute with you.
[love (you) always]
Swarms of passive art imbibers lining up to be processed by therapeutic culture shots: the orgy of consumption.
Children of the (high fructose) Corn (syrup)
Pooh Pooh, perplexed.
Go to work.
Go to sleep.
I’m just trying to keep it together.
We are all just trying to keep it together.
I do find it hard to keep myself together.
Do we all find it hard to keep ourselves together?
I find it hard to maintain my life outside of art making.
The lists are daily and they stretch on for blocks.
A New York block.
A Philadelphia block.
A block of time.
A calm and quiet block in the suburbs.
A block that is a dirt road in rural America.
None of these words make sense. Nothing makes sense. Question everything and accept nothing. Nothing but the truth. There is no truth. Don’t take no for an answer.
How can I be a functioning member of society?
That is, unless I make those fucking lists.
Strategic, like a soldier.
Thinking ahead a few moves.
I’ll have to look at you.
I’ll have to talk to you.
It’s part of life.
And the beat goes on.
As do the itineraries.
Alas, we shall continue sitting in our caves drawing on the walls.
Same day, different month.
As I sat in the chair and looked up I couldn’t help but wonder what in the devil those things were. Oh, that device was God awful! Foreign tongues rang through my eardrums as though it were chatter of extra terrestrial beings. What kind of sick twisted dream am I living in? Torturous devices they were, indeed. Like some sort of sadomasochistic meeting that only my subconscious could understand. The only thing I could think of, over and over again in my head:
“Die. Die. Just drop dead. Die right here on the spot. Kill me now. Die. Have a heart attack. You’re living in a nightmare that you can’t possibly wake up from. You’re helpless. There’s no way out. Just close your eyes and die. There’s no way out. Die.”
I can relate to a lot.
A desire to push color away.
Far far away.
To a land of sunshine and unicorns.
Like color is fooling us all the time.
Because it is, frightfully so.
Whale of a tale, I tell ya.
I’ll stick with my blacks, whites, and greys.
Balance, clarity, blah, blah, blah, etc.
Now THAT is something that can be quite colorful.
The entire rainbow, even.
Just colored gas.
Just colored glass.
Like a moth to the light on, heavy glow.
I’ll stick with my lettered tubes.
Bent, shaped, formed, and with letters we play.
Now, what’s all this business about being in a video game?
Third update live from the upper west side. Up against the boards. Skating. Gliding. Floating across the pond. Mark making of a different kind. Studies into MY environment. The way we talk about stroking the surface. Scraping. Slapping. Cutting. Digging. You name it and it’s yours. That’s just the way it works.
In second grade I was reprimanded for selling art.
Once I was able to recognize that the other kids liked what I was doing it was over.
Oh, this? This is nothing.
I can draw you anything you want. A koala?
That’ll be 75 cents.
I gotta eat too.
I’m rolling in it. Making enough money to afford the finer things in life… or in the lunch room.
Then The Man cometh to rain on my parade.
Operation shut down.
Put out of business.
“I will not sell my artwork in school.”
100 times on the chalkboard followed by the obligatory phone call home.
What an amazing conversation that must have been.
Trouble at home? Far from it, teach. Here’s an apple for your efforts.
I would then draw (and sell) myself through the rest of my primary and secondary education.
Then came the hunger.
Aside from my studio rags, I only dress in black, white, and grey.
Just like my babes.
You could say I’m like their daddy.
I pull in the strays from the fringes.
The lost souls.
Simply because that is where I like to hang out.
Somehow visible but beyond the naked eye.
The great divide between them and I.
Mind. Body. Sold.
This is just silly. I need a fucking pen. Soon enough I’ll tell the story about how the “❤ always” pieces came into being. For now let’s just say they’re spreading. Like a bad disease. Or a sickness. Like AIDS (DIAS) or ebola, since that’s an easy target.
One month later… works in New York City.
More to come after these messages.
Well boys and girls.
I’ve done it.
Gone ahead and done the deed.
Sold my soul right to the Devil himself.
Lost my nimbus and everything.
Stand up for your rights.
All that glitters ain’t gold.
-”I can’t even draw a straight line”
-”I can’t even draw a perfect circle”
-”I can’t even draw a stick figure”
-”Bitch, lemme show you how to do this S*** right here”
Killer-Whale-Hockey-Player-Babes are not of this earth darling sugar pie.
They are not Killer Whale or Orca or Sea Panda or Dolphin.
They are not Hockey Player or Player of Game or Sport.
They are not Babes in any way shape or form.
Not women, not men, not girl, not boy, not pig, and not anything or anybody you may know currently, have once known, or may get to know in the foreseeable future.
Erase all of those concepts from your head immediately.
They are Killer-Whale-Hockey-Player-Babes.
They and themselves only.
Oh, what moderation means these days.
I’ve got a lovely bunch of coconuts.
Concrete jungle on the east side of town.
Koons retrospective and other hi jinks.
New York, New York.
Praise Jesus, blessed be to all and God almighty.
<3 always 8/8/2014
Most of my people are in art jail.
We need to free the slaves.
Don’t be silly.
Slavery is not dead.
It’s August and I’m still alive.
WHERE. THE. FLOOR. MEETS. THE. FUCKING. CEILING.
Doing an AMA on Reddit. Come say hello.
Updated. New and improved. Hot off the press.
Website to be updated soon. Much needed edits and new works.
Get a life.
There is an over-saturation of terrible art being shown out there thanks to Warhol and Duchamp. Why?
More than likely because people want their work to come off as intelligent, dare I say genius, and provocative. One liners, product placement, ready-mades, stencils of celebrities, on and on and on.
Your work is not smart.
Your joke is not funny.
Your gimmick is lame.
I “got it” before I even looked at it.
Oh, you made this piece using photos of your last piece that was part of the process from a piece in which you tracked the movements in space at a previous performance piece you did based off of documentation of your original piece? How profound.
Just do something else.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again (and again and again and again)…
You wasted your time making that.
Did we forget about progress?
Did we forget about challenging ourselves, “the establishment,” and other artists?
Did we forget about developing new ways of seeing, thinking, and making?
- Leave the isms, ists, posts, and neos at home. Let the media, art historians, and critics do their job labeling (or poking fun at) the animals at the zoo.
- Think you can be clever or “creative” about how you use the objects you found/have sitting around for a new piece? Here’s an idea: throw them in the garbage… where they belong.
- Your artist statement smells just like everyone else’s: bullshit.
- Please stop the coddling. It only leads to more bad art and certainly doesn’t help anyone. You’re not an asshole because you are being critical. Speak up.
Truth be told, I’m the original grizzly boy. Immortalized since 1999 by way of corporate sponsorship, contractual agreements, and hi-tech gadgetry. What did I tell you? I am the 1%. Pick up a copy of the game now, before they’re all gone.
For now I’ll leave it at that.
Forthcoming: A compilation of essays on art & culture today. If you haven’t rolled your eyes yet, please take a moment to do so now.
If you are feeling lonely and unloved, here is what you need to know:
Tomorrow [saturday june 21] 6-12pm
12138 Saint Aubin
I’ve got a “♥ always” painting on view. Open up your heart and catch a dose of “the feels.”
More to come as the story develops.
There is no such thing as a day of rest.
Gentrification: coming soon to a city near you! Leave or get mowed down.
Somewhere I have a painting hanging up in a coffee shop. It’s labeled incorrectly.
Two group shows forthcoming if I can keep my head on straight.
Express yourself. It is the most dangerous thing you can do. Make people believe that the revolution is coming, they’ll eat it up. Trust me, proven fact. If you make someone feel alive you’ve got the sale. I support the 1% for that very reason. Sell people the dream. The revolution has been and always will be sold to you, remember that. I am the 1%.
Just a bit about competence. Many lack it. ‘Nuff said.
The next big thing. The next major movement. The coolest thing since Jeff Koons. The next milestone for the art history books: the Art Market.
Do what you want.
Live by your own rules.
Create your own opportunities.
That is radical.
Just remember to keep waving your American flag.
Not if, but when, will the store go out of business?
Andy Warhol is dead. Move on.
The Whitney Biennial– it’s a good time. Standing back, watching how folks mill about and interact with the art. Or completely pass it by, even. The outlets, the walls, the thermostats.
You know, the place where the floor meets the ceiling.
I could do without all of the reviews. Don’t listen to what others think of this or that. Instead, form your own opinion.
Continually driving around in different cars. Everything changes but it all stays the same. Whiteness will haunt you and color will play tricks. Erase reality as you know it and create a new version. Edit. Erase. Copy. Edit. Paste.
Molding, shaping, sculpting. All for you, my soldiers are fighting the good fight. Revolution. The day will come.
MIKE DIAS is the future.
Flushing Meadows Corona Park is a trip.
I remember riding a bicycle around that big ‘ol circle.
Or it could be that I don’t actually remember, I’m just recalling a photo depicting me doing so.
Regardless, I’ve cycled around the globe.
On this occasion an Open Engagement and a World’s Fair Anniversary.
Hannibal Lecter observations.
Do remember to wonder, question, and be surprised.
Nostalgia pizza cats.
Hell of a disease, that one.
Apparently he was just as mysterious.
Ornament and crime.
Creeping around in the middle of the night.
Driving extra slow through neighborhoods surrounded by the sleeping masses.
I’m in the shadows hard at work devising plans while y’all are out wandering slumber land.
I’ve got a chip on my shoulder and no reason to live.
Rest assured, I do my dirt all by my lonely.
Nothing can escape my path.
You either pick up the speed and get with the program or get mowed down.
Eat. My. Dust.
Two forthcoming exhibitions. Detroit, MI. More details TBA.
For now, homeward bound. Think about this for a moment– every Mike Dias you know, each one of them: I am him and he is I. Just the way it goes. That’s all folks. We operate as one.
Dear Andy, I mean Robert. No, no. Bob. I mean Andrew. Richard. Dick… I’m coming after you. I haven’t forgotten about you though, Ed.
Today I saw Mike Kelley’s Mobile Homestead on the highway. The scoop is that it’s on its way to Los Angeles. What I witnessed was the world’s largest black plastic bag smothering the entire structure, complete with yellow ratchet straps. I’m lovin’ it. In all its glory pulled over to the right broken down with an entourage of assistance vehicles. Immobile.
My current studio is not cutting it. So I’m cutting it. This is goodbye. Sayonara. Can’t take these plaster walls no more. Got them old creeky-floor blues.
Gone are the days. Bleach, dye, and hair gel. Faux blue-eyed peepers. Botched haircuts. Intentionally living the life of a walking billboard. Kissing ass and slacking off. Putting all of the wrong things on a pedestal. Creating the emptiest installation that I’ve ever made, to date. Killing myself, getting high on spray paint fumes. What did I learn? The hard way. Bad attitude. Rebel without a cause. Running around the neighborhood, getting dirty. Ironic how that’s the one they captured. Locked away in never-land. Forever Land, to be played with infinitely. Over and over and over and over again. Always. I slept my way through a FUBAR’d education system, what a yawn. What a riot. You can bet your bottom dollar I learned on my own– after class. And the beat goes on.
I’m no teacher, but I stay schoolin’ em.
You know what they say– time is money.
On that note, job-listing websites are amusing. Highly entertaining. My favorite are posts for art-related jobs, of course. Have a peek at a few examples:
Prestigious Chelsea Gallery
Greatest Art in the World
Elegant Contemporary Gallery
You would think with all of that decadent fluff they would at least include the name of their over-inflated establishment. Don’t get me started on spelling errors, vague (and clearly temporary) email addresses, and lack of wage disclosure.
So here it is. Here. It. Is. People spend way too much time and money putting together a resumé. You pays your money and you takes your choice. A person can now buy their way into the institution, the exhibition, the residency, etc. The work matters not, because they’re getting your green backs, baby. But hey, your resumé is on fire! That is, until it becomes lost in a sea of data that someone will surely see while scrolling behind a screen with the morning coffee, right? I’ve paid the way for others, darling.
Can one actually judge competence over the internet, or through a resumé for that matter? It could be that if one is looking for employment online, they’re doing it all wrong. Face to face, not face to screen. The entitlement generation or the internet generation? Pick your poison. Like. Like um. Like.
Look, it comes down to this: All you new-jack suckas need to put in WORK. N’am sayin’? Knowledge reigns supreme.
Put your right foot in. Put your right foot out. There’s plenty of room to wiggle around in the grey area between both ends of the spectrum. Smooth oscillator. The world might not always be sunshine and unicorns but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a turn to ride the white horse. So, I rented a pony for my daughters birthday…
“MIKE DIAS loves you”
May 3, 2014 : 6-10pm @ Da Bedroom [9386 McDougall St. Hamtramck, MI]
Fifty-cent rolls and dollar coffee.
Hope to keep going but running on empty.
No, no, but really though.
Sometimes you need to take two steps backward to put your best foot forward and advance a space. How to proceed. Blinded by the white. Take a few breaths, slug some water, and get out there and do it again.
Against the grain.
Not sure I see it as the front line but something like new-age mall sculpture. I might be on the road, but I’m still in the woods. No cheap shots here. Public vs Private.
Dear Sir or Madam,
You’re going to have to check that at the door.
An object borrowed.
Always fighting and alone in the middle of nowhere. The boondocks. The sticks. No-where-land. Not necessarily trying to get out alive or win, whatever that means, just trying to have as much fun as I can while I’m here. Nods to a lot of folks.
Out of the darkness comes the light, ya know.
Pedal forward. Research, research, research. New(s) to me.
A flash of light. And the party is over.
Form. Format. Taking it for a ride… different types of vehicles.
Washington. Illinois. New York. New Jersey. Pennsylvania.
Talk about your reflection staring back at you in the mirror:
A few days ago I heard something rustling outside of the cave. I figured I would poke my tiny head out, just the tip, to see what all the commotion was about. Cotopaxi. I may even go Schwitters on ‘em in the near future. Gotta get my dose: instant gratification. You know what I’m saying. You can type it for me.
Boy, the Detroit Institute of Arts has so many secrets to tell. Good times. Always nice to see old friends and make new ones in the process. A few hiccups. Nothing too disruptive.
I’m number 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5. An y’all sucka artists be wiggida wiggida wiggida wack.
How is a beast of the East
But the stress of Midwest.
Stubborn as a bull
The breast of both worlds.
What is maturity, even.
Emptiness to exploit in Detroit
But detritus maximus.
Same as it ever was
Same as it ever will be.
Naughty by nature.
Get with the Times
New work, New York.
Jonathan Meese made it into my dream the other night. Without his mother, this time.
The iPad tour of Diego Rivera Court; whattup Sun Ra?
Artist David Choe had an art show. A huge show in a huge warehouse space with lots of gallery assistants. Chicanos and blacks. There were colored spiders creeping round, plastic bag air-filled balloon sculptures, and something for Sarah Silverman. One green piece on the edge of a reddish-pink room not able to be seen or experienced fully on the digital screen of any device. The colors wouldn’t translate. Choe’s show continued on in another building. A downstairs apartment gallery. You know the type. All of the work had been exact replicas of works by London artists. Near the front desk was an area to play video games. I believe they were playing Dave Mirra Freestyle BMX 2.
As I was leaving the show I noticed David outside. He walked toward a neighboring garage following along a snaking orange cord. Pulling the plug meant lights out. No more. Finito. Done. Goodbye. Shows over, go home. My attention was then drawn to a gallery assistant rushing to climb into a black Honda Civic. Small little coupe inside a cavernous garage. Now headed toward me in reverse, I caught a better glimpse of what was going on inside the vehicle. A newborn Orca whale riding shotgun. Blood curdling screams in a vacuum. Writhing and violent. Hope that outward expression of every extremity in fight-mode may lead to escape from its entrapment. The driver is missing. Just like that. Choe emerges laughing. I’ve lost my cool and immediately break into tears. Screaming. Anything but silent.
“How could you…”
It’s really no big deal, he says. A lot of artists use Orcas.
A meager and childish attempt to fight. Empty blows barely land on David’s chest with closed fists. Somehow I’ve acquired a sidekick. We steal the car, whale and all. An empty roadside reminiscent of Venice vendor territory. You’ve got to get there early if you want a spot to park it. My accomplice puts the baby Killer on the parched pavement. Limp and lifeless.
“It’s OK now. It’s still alive and put back in its place.”
I insist otherwise, exclaiming that we need to return it to the ocean. Ditching my incompetent accomplice, the baby is snatched up and seat-belted in up front for another ride. I look over at my co-pilot.
“You can navigate and choose the songs on the iPod.”
Seemingly out of nowhere I hear a heckler calling out. Standing across the street barefooted and clad in short shorts complete with a gaudy button down shirt from the early 90′s, comes a weird barrage of language. I pay no mind the words leaving his beak. His gladiator-esque build, arms outstretched, sponge-in-hand chirps are eclipsed by the sparkling snow white Ferrari beside him. Top of the line, this one. Sitting there under that pergola silent and crystal clear. A three-course meal with all the trimmins. There is quite a bit of stirring and I’m caught off guard. A whole team of professional football players come storming out of a bar next door. Loud and drunk. As they always are. Quite silly seeing all of those matching NFL hats moving in sync. The jerseys were the icing on the cake.
Now I can fully understand the negativity spewing from the tacky gentleman across the street. I retort. Something about compensation and being rich. He advances toward me as the team looks on. Out of pocket comes a device, simultaneously torch and taser, aimed straight at me. Entranced by the beauty and coldness of its pulsating icy blue center I was down before I knew what happened. Perhaps we were both mid-slander. Collecting pieces of myself up off of the ground, I notice that I’m propping myself up on the tire of a vehicle. As if to mirror my new found enemies’ glorious chariot, my crutch reveals itself. Lamborghini. Bone white and brand new.
Oh, what merciless mockery! Walking around the vehicle I spit off a lick about snobbery and the precious steed now separating us. Every pair of ears in the crowd of players perks up. Every last eyeball tracks the duel. Racing toward me the man lets another electrical charge surge from his weapon. Dazed, slightly confused, and mid-scream I find myself sinking teeth into crotch. I was sure that I would rip his testicles out.
Laughing at my foolishness I catch an utterance. Something about not having any balls. So I go for the toes. Gnawing. More mumbled jargon. You know that’s good luck?
Good luck, kid.
I am dead.
I am dead.
Dear debt collectors,
I am dead.
Until further notice, current work is available by request only and must be seen in person.
Thinking of chaps and pictures and words.
The value of that expensive V.I.P. pass you’ve paid for has largely diminished. You’ve got to be a fool to continue thinking that way. Put nothing on a pedestal.
Underground hip. Underground hop. Underground art. Underground world.
This is my social media. Walking away from the group and building a lemonade stand to quench the thirst of the dehydrated. Write. Right. Re-write.
Pencil, paper. Pencil, paper. Pencil, paper.
Curious. I’d rather not participate. Thanks, but no thanks. I’ll be sure to add it to my resumé.
Look at the work. Merit badges are for Boy Scouts. If you are counting the patches, you’re paying attention to the wrong thing. I’ve burned my vest.
There are a lot of politicians disguised as artists. No thank you.
Pretend-contemporary-art. Massive mediocrity. Passivity. Corporatized scene. Art jail.
I’m all outta bubble gum.
Forty on the way to 100.
No need to worry, folks. Killer-Whale-Hockey-Player-Babes are genetically modified for your convenience. They are here to entertain you and give you pleasure. Oh how my yield has increased significantly!
Get off the social media. Lose the smartphone. Leave the internet. Stop supporting corporations. Enough already.
Businesses do not care about you or your health… they are there to make money.
Good time jazz night surrounded by Diego Rivera. Clearly the trumpet was a little too overbearing at times. The tunes were much needed after a few art shows.
You were SO badass doing your “street art” indoors in front of the cameras.
And then you looked like an idiot. I would have let it slide but the work didn’t hold me in the least.
Attending to some much needed site maintenance.